Friday, November 23, 2012

What's For Dessert: Butternut Squash Pie

Though I made several new-to-me side dishes for yesterday's Thanksgiving meal, my only real goal for the day was to make a pumpkin pie from scratch (including making my own pumpkin purée). However, in looking for recipes, I found a video posted by the New York Times last week that named butternut squash as the best option for a homemade pie. Given that I already had two butternut squashes  sitting on my countertop, this was welcome news. This pie is best made over a few days; on day one I made my butternut squash purée and on day two I made the crust (I meant to do this the day before but didn't quite get that far) and baked the pie. Be aware that the pie dough requires at least an hour and a half of chilling, so make sure you account time for that.

Wonky (but ridiculously flaky) crust aside, the resulting pie was delicious. Given the recipe I followed, it's definitely a bit richer than your standard from-the-can pumpkin pie. However, I think the butternut squash lends a deeper flavor to the pie and I think from here on out, my "pumpkin" pies will be made from butternut squashes instead.

Butternut Squash Pie (printer-friendly version)
makes eight servings

For the butternut squash purée:
2-3 lbs butternut squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and browned

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the pie:
1 3/4 cups butternut squash purée
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon [optional]
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground clove

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. Peel the butternut squash and cut in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash into 1" cubes.
3. Place the squash cubes into a shallow bowl. Add in the browned butter and toss to combine.
4. Spread the squash cubes onto the prepped baking sheet.
5. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender, flipping the cubes once or twice while cooking.
6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
7. Once cooled, purée the squash in a food processor. Refrigerate any leftover squash in an airtight container.
8. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
9. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add in the cold butter cubes and pulse until the dough is in pea-sized crumbles. Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just holds together.
10. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form it into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
11. Roll out the chilled dough into a 12" round. Spread into a 9" pie pan. Scallop the edges and cut off any excess dough. I added cut-out leaves from the excess dough and lined them along the edge of the crust. Prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell with a fork. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
12. Cover the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and weights and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the crust is light golden.
13. Remove the pie shell from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack until ready to use. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
14. In a large bowl, whisk together the butternut squash purée, eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar, bourbon, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
15. Pour the pie filling into the cooled pie shell and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the filling has set and just jiggles slightly in the center. Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.

(adapted from this New York Times recipe)

Bourbon Whipped Cream
makes about one cup

2/3 cups organic heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 teaspoon bourbon

1. Chill your electric mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
2. Add the heavy cream to the mixer and whip at high speed until soft peaks form, about 4-6 minutes.
3. Add in the powdered sugar and bourbon and continue whipping at medium-high speed until soft peaks form again, about 2-3 minutes. Use immediately. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe I've ever had a butternut squash pie. Sounds delicious! I'm definitely going to have to give this one a try!


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